How to promote yourself without showing off
While social media is filled with humble-bragging, many people find it difficult to talk about their success in a face-to-face conversation. However, when going to a job interview, you want to show your very best side, but you don’t want to show off -- and yet, you don’t want to be too humble.
What you need is something in between, but the balance is hard to find, especially in an entirely unknown environment. Here are a few tips that can help you get the right footing to land your dream job.
Be grateful for your success
Whenever you talk about your past work experiences, it is ok to point out your achievements. However, you also should show gratitude for your accomplishments. No matter what and how big your achievements are, remember you didn’t do it all alone.
Make sure that you mention your team, colleagues or whoever else helped you to achieve your goals - after all, that’s the truth. It is not only a humble and honourable thing to do, but it will also show that you care about your team and colleagues. An appreciative worker is always more respected than someone claiming all the glory.
Don’t focus on you, but on your actions
Being nervous in job interviews, it is very easy to get lost talking about yourself. But you might run the risk of coming across as egocentric or narcissistic. Due to the nature of job interviews, we have to talk about our achievements, but focusing on your actions instead of yourself will help to portray you in the right light.
Instead of calling yourself a media professional, describe yourself as having had plenty of experience in both the print and online media industries, working on editorial direction and creative development. Talk about your approach to a problem and how you have overcome it instead of pointing directly at the solution.
Tell a story
When talking about your achievements, the context can often get lost, which might result in you being perceived as a show-off. Trying to avoid this misconception, you should tell your success in a story. Contextualising your achievement with a problem, approach, solution, and result, you are more likely to convince people that you are a good worker. Especially during job interviews, you can also demonstrate your thinking instead of just talking about results.
Being able to talk about yourself and your achievements in the form of a story is a great skill to have. It is not only useful in job interviews but is also helpful in client discussions, sales pitches, and communicating with your team. Once you learn how to create and tell a story, you are able to get any point across.
Don’t share all at once
Sharing your achievements all at once, you can easily overwhelm your conversation partner. Keep in mind that not everything you have achieved might be interesting, relevant, or appropriate to share. Remember who you are talking to. What is it that interests them? If you are in a mid-career job interview, it might not be a good idea to share your success stories from your time at university. The HR manager might wonder how that is relevant.
Share your success stories strategically and make them fit into the conversation. Don’t just brag about the first thing that comes to mind, but share something relevant to make your point stick. Wanting to impress with all your success stories and achievements, you will most likely have the opposite effect.